The Corner

Look Who Has the Same Bad Plan for Fighting ISIS

If anyone doubts that Hillary Clinton is the candidate of the unacceptable status quo, look at this section of last night’s speech — about ISIS:

I’ve laid out my strategy for defeating ISIS. We will strike their sanctuaries from the air, and support local forces taking them out on the ground. We will surge our intelligence so that we detect and prevent attacks before they happen. We will disrupt their efforts online to reach and radicalize young people in our country. It won’t be easy or quick, but make no mistake – we will prevail.

This is the Obama plan — combined with a vague intelligence surge — and it just so happens to be the plan that has enabled ISIS to hold on to a nation-sized chunk of the Middle East for two full years. It’s the plan that has allowed it to spread to Libya, Nigeria, Afghanistan, and to place cells in the heart of Europe. It’s the plan that’s allowed ISIS to inspire and execute an unprecedented wave of terror attacks in NATO countries from Europe to America. This is a formula for continued slow-motion war and for more terror

Now here’s the Trump plan — his most recent plan, I should say — as announced on Sixty Minutes with his running mate by his side:

Donald Trump: I am going to have very few troops on the ground. We’re going to have unbelievable intelligence, which we need; which, right now, we don’t have. We don’t have the people over there. We are going to use–

Lesley Stahl: You want to send Americans–

Donald Trump: Excuse me– and we’re going to have surrounding states and, very importantly, get NATO involved because we support NATO far more than we should, frankly, because you have a lot of countries that aren’t doing what they’re supposed to be doing. And we have to wipe out ISIS. And speaking of Turkey, Turkey is an ally. Turkey can do it by themselves. But they have to be incentivized. For whatever reason, they’re not. So we have no choice.

Lesley Stahl: But I still don’t know if you’re going to send troops over–

Donald Trump: Very little. I’m gonna–

Lesley Stahl: But declare war–

Donald Trump: –get neighboring states and I’m going to get– we are going to get NATO; we’re going to wipe ‘em out. We’re gonna–

This is the same plan. It’s air strikes, allies, and intelligence. It’s just spoken with MORE ENERGY. In other words, the Trump strategy is the Obama strategy is the Clinton strategy — with the addition of trash talk. Neither potential commander-in-chief has given the slightest inclination that they’re willing to do what it takes to speed up Obama’s slow-motion war.

While fighting jihad is a complex, grinding process, but one thing we do know is that when terrorists have time, space, and resources they can and will execute an escalating series of attacks. It’s clear that neither Trump nor Clinton intend to do anything meaningful to escalate the war against ISIS. And that means more terrorist attacks, more terrorist recruits, and more time for ISIS to claim that it is surviving its fight against the world’s greatest military power.  

Words don’t make commanders strong. Actions do. And neither Clinton nor Trump are indicating that they’ll take the action we need to defend our nation from its most deadly terror threat.

David French is a senior writer for National Review, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, and a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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